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Author Topic: Help! Bread dough kneading advice needed  (Read 4762 times)
cantonpixie
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« on: April 29, 2011, 07:35:44 AM »

somebody help!  is there anyone here who has used breadmakers and/or hand kneading to knead their bread doughs prior to having the TM?  or anyone who's familiar with developing gluten in properly kneaded bread dough?

i'm having problems with my bread dough.  and i'm not sure if that's how it's supposed to turn out.

i have 2 questions:

1.  i'm trying to make some simple breads (that i used to make pre-TM days using breadmakers to knead) using the TM kneading functions.  however, the recipes in the EDC called for something like 500g (or upwards) of flour, and 2min at interval speed.  now, if i'm only doing half the amount of flour (say 200-300g), do I knead at 1.5 mins or just 1 min or do i carry on kneading the full 2 mins? how would i know if i under kneaded or over kneaded?  (the same question i have for mixing the flour etc prior to kneading).

2.  the breadmaker i used to use would knead the dough for 20min. and after kneading, the dough would look pretty smooth on the surface.(something like a baby's bum)  plus form a pretty nice "dough window".

today, on the TM my bread dough looked "ragged" on the surface.  I checked the doughs at 1min 30 sec and at 2min and then again at 2min 30s and they looked "ragged" and the "dough window' didnt seem to be forming properly when i took out a bit of dough to stretch it.  not wanting to test my luck any further by kneading any further, i left the doughs to prove.

my question is, is this normal for a TM-kneaded dough?  my dough(s) are  still  proving so i wouldn't know if i failed or not. i'm now wondering if i'll ever be able to make delicious bread dough from the TM!

also, when my consultant demoed a chinese "steamed bun" recipe using the TM to knead and varoma to steam, i recall thinking that the end result was a steamed bun that didn't have a very good texture, and at that point i wasn't able to figure out if that bad texture / mouthfeel was due to insuff kneading of the dough or insuff proving time (chinese steamed buns found in the chinese restaurants typically prove very long, and some of the better restaurants even use a sourdough method when making their steamed buns).

any inputs would be greatly appreciated!


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quirkycooking
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2011, 08:19:59 AM »

Hi cantonpixie,

I've had great success using my Thermomix for kneading bread dough! I used to knead by hand, then I got a bread maker and used that, then when I got a Thermomix I started using that for my dough, and I must say it turns out the best of all! If your dough is 'ragged', it could be that you haven't got the right amount of water - it may need a little more so it's nice and smooth. Do you use wheat flour? If so, you can safely knead it for longer - I've seen recipes that knead for up to 5 minutes in the tmx. I usually do 2 to 3 mins with wheat flour. With spelt flour, they say not to over-knead, so I don't go above 2 mins, and it turns out lovely loaves.


(My spelt bread - recipe here)


With the steamed buns, I was just reading in the new Asian cookbook that there is a certain kind of flour that works best for Chinese steamed buns - it's called Hong Kong flour - and the texture is lighter than if you use regular bread flour.  My tip for using reg bread flour for steamed buns is to make sure you rise them a little first, or they will be heavy.

Hope that helps!
Jo  Smiley
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achookwoman
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2011, 07:31:28 AM »

Canton pixie, use Isi's recipe for her Portugese rolls or my No Fuss recipe,  and see what you think.  Hand kneaded, machine and TMX bread are all a bit different.  I usually knead for 4 mins.  Like Quirky suggests your ratio of water to flour may not be right.  Good luck,  keep trying,  you will get it right.
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HeatherA
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2011, 10:03:56 AM »

I used to make all my own bread (25 years ago) then when I went back to work, my thoughtful family gave me my first breadmaker for my 40th birthday. We had about 4 breadmakers between then and the purchase of my Thermomix ( Dec 2010)
I did not buy it  -- TMX --for the bread making function, but discovered very quickly that it was much better and far more versatile than a breadmaker. I now make bread of every imaginable type most days---but realised very quickly that the recipes supplied are not necessarily accurate with water/flour proprtions. I watch through the hole in the lid during the mix  and knead stage and add flour or water as required.

Persevere---it is definitely worth it. I do not do any hand kneading--and I would never buy bread again. It is so easy.

Good luck.
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LeeJ
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2011, 10:44:41 AM »

I have to agree with the others, I am so much happier with the THX bread then any other!

I did hand kneading (I don not have the patience  Cheesy), then breadmaker, both heavy. With chookies rolls, I know have perfect white rolls, definatley look the recipe up. So very simple, and the best bread recipe I have some across yet Smiley
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cantonpixie
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2011, 03:11:23 PM »

gosh thanks for all the advice & encouragement guys!!

update:  after the 1st rising, my dough changed from being "ragged" to smooth-as-baby-bum.  my foccacia turned out nice (like the way it used to with the breadmaker, exact same recipe) but my pita bread wasn't so fantastic. 

but i do still have a couple of questions (because in the midst of all that distress over getting ragged dough (which i had never experienced in my breadmaker, i had forgotten to take notes),

1. if i am halving the recipe in the edc book for a loaf of bread, do i also halve the kneading time?  (most of the recipes i'm dealing with / intending to use (from my old-breadmaker days) will involve only flour amounts of 250-300g)

2. also, if i'm halving the edc recipes, do i still mix at speed 6 for so long?  (my ingreadients flew all over the inside top of the cover)

3. if i am using some recipes which have worked very well in the breadmaker kneading function and want to use the TM to make the dough, do i need to adjust the flour / water amounts at all?  (since these have worked very well when my breadmaker kneaded the dough)

jo,
your spelt bread looks lovely!!  i am now surfing your blog for all the wonderful bread recipes!  and thanks for the tip abt wheat flour!  i'm starting off with wheat flour before proceeding onto the gluten free stuff (i have in mind to try those GF stuff on your blog), and i will remember to rise the hong kong flour steamed buns more.  (i've yet to find out how to get the asian cookbook in singapore.  my consultant hasn't heard of it)

chookie, did you just say 4 min?  gosh.  i'm going to take a deep breath and try it on my next loaf. and i went to look for your no fuss rolls and isi's portugeuse rolls!  both were just what i was looking for, thanks! (wha'ts sold in our chinese bakeries here are really sweet buns and i don't have a sweet tooth....)

heather, i don't quite understand, do you mean to say that when a recipe has worked very well with hand kneading /breadmaker, and if i want to use the tm to knead it, i will have to adjust the amounts of flour / water / in the original recipe ?
and...i need advice on how to watch through the hole ....i mean, when i do i know i shld add more flour / water?  the 2 doughs that i did yesterday, cleaned the sides of the tm bowl thoroughly, is that it?  or am i to look for something else? and when the kneading time is 2min, do i pause every 30s to peer through the hole or? (sorry to sound dumb!)

leej, noted thanks! 
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Chelsea (Thermie Groupie)
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2011, 08:11:55 AM »

Are there any breadmaker recipes that you really like in particular?  I am just wondering if we could point you in the direction of some TM recipes that we all really love to save you the effort of converting the breadmaker ones over. Garlic bread, standard white loaf, wholemeal rolls, naan bread, baguettes, pizza bases, cheese and bacon rolls???
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joynatalie
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2011, 10:12:40 AM »

Re: pita bread, I was struggling and came across the following advice which works but is a little time consuming,  once you have rolled the pita into the flat circle or oval put it on silver foil near the bottom of the oven.  The trick is one at a time it seems to work.  I have tried to cheat and slip in two but it doesn't rise as well.  Hope this helps
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meganjane
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2011, 10:34:06 AM »

I've never made pita bread, but I make a lot of bread in my TMX.

I knead it on  corn for 8 minutes and let it rise in the bowl until it's peeking out of the top. I do a second rise in the tin.

If you're halving the recipe for something like bread dough, you don't need to halve the kneading time. With halving other recipes, definitely reduce the times.

I find it's better to make the full quantity and freeze what you don't use. The recipes have been designed for that amount and often halving or doubling doesn't work.

A normal ratio for a good bread is 5 flour to 3 water. I make a recipe using 600g flour, so I use 320g water.

Keep persevering, often allowing more time for rising makes a much better bread. Sometimes I let my bread rise three times.
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MJ Skincare
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2011, 11:12:29 AM »

I found that recipes in the breadmaker used different ratios of flour to water than when I made them in the tmx - not sure why! But I just played around with the recipes once I got a tmx until I was happy with the texture. At least with the tmx it's easy to adjust the recipe as you go - you can watch through the hole in the lid and add more flour if it's too sticky and the motor's straining to keep it moving, or you can add more water if it's too dry and isn't forming a nice smooth ball. (I poke my finger in to check it too - carefully, when it pauses in the kneading!!  Cheesy

Hope you find some recipes you love! But if you need help converting your usual ones, just let us know, as Chelsea said.

I don't make pita bread, I like my nice, soft spelt tortillas, and make them a fair bit - great for lunches!
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Quirky Cooking: http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com/
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cantonpixie
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2011, 09:04:34 AM »

hey guys
i'm so sorry i didnt respond earlier cuz a lot of things had been happening at home!  but thanks a mil for all the advice. 

jo, i printed out all your bread recipes and am queuing them for trying one by one.

meganjane, thanks SOOOOOOOOO much for the helpful ratio.  8 min!! will it destroy the gluten in the bread?

joynatalie, thanks for the tip! when i finish making some successful loaves i'll go back to getting those pitas right!

chelsea, yes, i have some recipes in mind that i'd like some advice on how to convert! 
http://wlteef.blogspot.com/2008/03/65c.html

it's the 65 deg tangzhong type of bread!  the full recipe at this link.  in the original recipe, all that's needed is to put everything into the breadmaker and have it knead.  my breadmaker dough function used to be 20 min in duration, and for this particular 65 deg recipe, i usually had to reset the dough cycle so that it'd knead for a total of either 30 min or 40 min, cuz that was how long it'd take the dough to completely stop sticking, without adding anymore flour / oil / etc.  when hand kneading, this dough would first turn really slimy and oily and sticky, and then after 45min-1 hr of hand kneading, it would suddenly transform into a non-sticky ball of dough with perfectly formed gluten, baby-bum smooth.  (provided no additional flour / oil is added other than what was called for in the recipe).

can anyone help me convert this?

chookie, i've copied down isis and your recipes to try soon!
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meganjane
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 01:40:10 AM »

The gluten in bread has to be broken down, so no, 8 minutes isn't too long. I think I actually got that timing from isi.
I think the only thing to do with your 65 degree recipe is to try it! The making of the TangZhong would be easy in the TMX as you don't have to stir it.
I'm pretty sure the TMX could cope with 30 minutes of kneading. You'd have to stay in the kitchen the whole time though to make sure it's not bouncing off the bench.
That texture looks amazing!

I've been reading the blog where you got the TangZhong idea from and she has a great proving method:

Quote from: florence
When I do not have a bread machine, I used to put the mixing bowl into my microwave oven(do not switch on the microwave) with a bowl of hot water to do my first prove. The microwave provided an enclosed environment and trapped the heat and moisture provided by the bowl of hot water making it very conducive for proving.

This sound like a great idea for proving on a cooler day.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 04:57:53 AM by meganjane » Logged

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MJ Skincare
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 11:04:28 AM »

That's pretty much how I prove my bread too, except in the (cold) oven with a pan of boiling water underneath. Works really well!! Takes about half the time to rise too, which is great, as I always seem to be in a hurry...  Wink
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Thermomix Consultant, Atherton Tablelands, FNQ, Australia.
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